Thursday
Jul282016

What causes strokes. How to reduce strokes by 90%

10 steps to cut stroke by 90%.
Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability, and the rate could be cut in half (47.9%) by getting blood pressure under control, and another 36% by regular exercise.
The study investigated 26 919 participants from 32 countries (13 447 cases [10 388 with ischaemic stroke and 3059 intracerebral haemorrhage] and 13 472 controls) between Jan 11, 2007, and Aug 8, 2015,.
1 hypertension or blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg or higher
47·9%,
2 regular physical activity 35·8%,
3 apolipoprotein (Apo)B/ApoA1 ratio for highest vs lowest; 26·8%,
4 diet 23·2%,
5 waist-to-hip ratio 18·6%,
6 psychosocial factors 17·4%,
7 current smoking 12·4%,
8 cardiac causes 9·1%,
9 alcohol consumption for high or heavy episodic intake 5·8%, and
10 diabetes mellitus 3·9%,

Collectively, these risk factors accounted for 90·7% for all stroke worldwide (91·5% for ischaemic stroke, 87·1% for intracerebral haemorrhage).

The good thing about this is that you can lower your blood pressure very quickly using good nutrition and supplements. Check out my blood pressure smoothie.

For how to lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack have a look at my book "Reversing heart disease high blood pressure and blocked arteries without drugs"

http://www.thelancet.com/…/PIIS0140-6736(16)30506-2/abstract

Thursday
Jul282016

Cancer rates continue to increase

Last year, the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide were lung (1.8 million or 13 percent of the total) breast (1.7 million, 11.9 percent) and colon cancer (1.4 million or 9.7 percent) (IARC). Lung cancer resulted in the deaths of 1.6 million people who died from cancer last year, the report said -- 19.4 percent. Other major cancer killers were liver cancer (800,000 or 9.1 percent), stomach cancer (723,000 or 8.8 percent), colon cancer (694,000 or 8.5 percent), breast cancer (522,000 or 6.4 percent), esophagal cancer (400,000 or 4.9 percent) and cervical cancer (266,000 or 3.2 percent).

In the US Women, minorities, and migrants in the United States face a growing risk from cancers of the lung, breast and thyroid and deaths from cancer will increase by more than 25 percent over the next decade. While lung cancer rates have been coming down considerably in men, they've been increasing for women. Last year in the United States 75,852 women died of lung cancer -- 25.9 percent of all women who died of cancer that year. Breast cancer accounted for 15 percent of female deaths, about 43,000.

A study in the UK found the lifetime risk of cancer for people born since 1960 is more than 50% compared to those born 30. Over half of people who are currently adults under the age of 65 years will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. Whereas smoking-related cancers have become less common in men, other cancers have become more common. In women, breast and lung cancers have increased substantially since the mid 1970’s. The increase in breast cancer is related to lifestyle changes, such as increasing obesity. In men, there has been an increase in the incidence of prostate and bowel cancer. The increase in bowel cancer rates is thought to be related to an increase in red meat consumption and obesity (Center et al, 2009). (Trends in the lifetime risk of developing cancer in Great Britain: comparison of risk for those born from 1930 to 1960 A S Ahmad, N Ormiston-Smith and P D Sasieni)

While in Australia results show we are nearly four times as likely to have thyroid cancer, three times as likely to have Liver Cancer and twice as likely to have Melanoma, Motor Neuron Disease, Kidney or Anal cancer compared to 30 years earlier. Men are more than twice as likely to have prostate cancer and 60% more likely to have testicular cancer.  Women are 43% more likely to have breast cancer.  Children are 6 times as likely to suffer from leukemia than just 20 years ago.

So what is driving the increases in cancer?

Tuesday
Jul052016

Wellness at work

When health is absent, Wisdom cannot reveal itself, Art cannot manifest, Strength cannot be exerted, Wealth becomes useless, And reason is powerless." 
— Herophilus 300 B.C.

Our work places are either a great place to promote health or to contribute to the health problem. Our work environments are experiencing an emerging health crisis from longer workdays, deskbound occupations, access to poor quality foods and poor physical activity. In many cases they are contributing to a deterioration in employee health as our work and the workplace has the potential to have a significant affect on the mental, physical, economic and social well-being of workers. Major concerns in the work environment are work-related stress, obesity, diabetes, cardio vascular disease, fatigue , poor sleep and the many other conditions that come from these. Many of our workplaces for example have increased the risk of putting on weight due to sedentary practices, stress and long and awkward work hours. This of course has the potential to lead to many other chronic health conditions which cost the individual, community and employers. From an employers perspective poor health has the potential to reduce the quality of work and productivity within many workplaces and is likely costing the economy billions of dollars in workplace productivity alone. While the costs of workplace productivity are significant it is also likely that some obesogenic (increasing the risk of putting on weight) environments are likely to be the focus of legal action as the rates of illness and obesity increase. This is particularly the case for inflexible workplace, long hours and shiftwork.

An employee’s health and productivity at work is not only affected by their work environment but also by factors that are not work related. These factors vary between individuals and depend on the individuals chosen lifestyle outside of work. However, through empowering staff members on healthy lifestyles the overall health management of individuals will benefit not only the company but also the broader community. Wellness in the workplace is influenced by many different factors including the communication between co-workers and employers, physical demands especially in sedentary occupations and the eating habits, lifestyles of employees and much more.

When it comes to common health issues of most employees, wellness programs can provide an easy and cost effective solution. Fatigue, stress, depression and obesity are commonly interrelated and increasingly common in most workplaces. The workplace has been viewed as an attractive place for wellness programs as it has established communication channels and it provides a convenient, familiar physical and social setting. In addition, it serves to benefit the employers from the improved health of employees.

Many factors contribute towards the creation of a healthy employee who is able to work consistently at a high level of efficiency and productivity; however health is one of the most important determinants. The costs of unhealthy workers are usually measured by employers in terms of easily quantifiable direct health costs such as medical claims, disability funds and compensation payouts. In the US where figures are more easily accessed because the employer has been traditionally responsible for health care cost, compared with employees who are struggling, thriving employees have 41% lower health-related costs to the employer, a difference of $2,993 per person. For every 10,000 employees, this represents a difference of nearly $30 million to the employer. However, when looking at the health/productivity costs borne by employers, only a small portion of these expenditures are direct medical costs. Indirect costs are more difficult to distinguish and measure, they include those costs incurred from employee mortality, absenteeism and the reduced productivity and presenteeism including poor concentration and focus, low output, and disruption of other workers evident in an employee while still working.

An employee health behaviors are strong predictors of job performance and absenteeism. Many studies have demonstrated the link between poor health factors and absence from work including positive associations between absenteeism and obesity, stress, physical inactivity, and hypertension. While the frequency and severity of poor health are directly related to days absent from work. Healthier workers work more and are away less.

The loss of a qualified professional due to moving to a new job, illness or even death can often be difficult and costly for the organization to replace. The cost of rehiring and retraining a suitable replacement could result in large organizational outlays of time and money, well in excess of $100,000. Not only will a new candidate be difficult and costly to find, but an immense amount of expertise, experience and organizational knowledge will be lost. Karoshi is a term coined in Japan, literally translating into ‘death from overwork’ in English. Karoshi is described as ‘unexplained death’ thought to arise due to a combination of elevated working hours, high stress and poor health, with the major medical causes of death being heat attack and stroke. In Japan working weeks that exceed 60 hours are not an exception. The first case of karoshi was reported in 1969 where a 29 year old married man died from a stroke and his death could not be attributable to anything other than occupational stress and chronic overwork. In 1994 the Japanese Government’s Economic Planning Agency in the Institute of Economics estimated the number of karoshi deaths at around 1,000 or 5% of all deaths as a result of cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease each year within the 25-59 age group.

 In the US the cost of turnover per person employed who is healthier is 35% lower than that of those who are struggling. For every 10,000 employees, this represents $19.5 million. Although turnover is more common among younger employees, higher wellbeing was predictive of lower turnover and lower turnover costs in the next year for younger and older employees alike. Those who were struggling or suffering in overall wellbeing were more than twice as likely as those who were thriving to say they would look for another job if the job market improves. This means that the actions that employers take today to improve health — in addition to improving job performance — are likely to have important implications on the moves employees make in the future.

Presenteeism represents a cost that is difficult to quantity but a large contributor to lost productivity. Many people are under the flawed assumption that when people are at work that they are productive, however if employees are sick, injured, stressed or burned-out in the workplace, they are not working to full capacity. Presenteeism is the worker coming in who shouldn’t and in the process is not just less productive but may also be reducing the productivity of other employees. This doesn’t just occur over health but when a person is sick they may be slowing everyone else down. Presenteeisms result in a negative impact not only on the quantity of work completed, but also on the quality of products, services, decisions, and co-worker and customer interactions. Although presenteeism cannot be directly quantified in a straightforward manner many studies now suggest it may be one of the biggest costs to employees. So you might be better off staying away from work when you are sick.

Unhealthy workers are also more likely to have workplace accidents and healthy and focused employees is less likely to endanger themselves and other co-workers through negligent behavior caused by poor physical and psychological health. A number of studies have now found that investing in wellness programs and the health of employees can reduce accidents. This also includes accidents on the way home from work if an employee is fatigued or distracted with their health. Accidents are expensive for all companies because of downtime, the resources that need to be dedicated to investigation, lost productivity from injured workers and workers’ compensation. In Australia, workers’ compensation costs are unacceptably high, reflecting relatively high frequency rates of occupational injuries which may be prevented through a wellness program.

The direct cost of stress is more than $20 billion to the Australian economy, and around two thirds of that to Australian employers because of stress-related presenteeism and absenteeism. 95% of all claims for mental disorders in the past ten years are for mental stress. These claims are the most expensive type of workers’ compensation claim due to their typically lengthy periods of work absence. Professionals make more mental stress claims than any other occupation, mostly for work pressure. This is despite the fact that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Work-related Injuries Survey 2009–10 which showed that 70% of workers who reported they experienced work-related mental stress did not apply for workers’ compensation.

Productivity is affected heavily by seasonal illnesses and their available treatments. Allergies are a highly prevalent condition in the general population affecting people in varying ways. Symptoms of allergies include itching and irritation of the nose; watery nasal discharge, nasal congestion, sneezing and are often accompanied by fatigue, weakness, malaise, irritability and decreased appetite. Studies now show that individuals with allergy disorders generally score lower on tests on social functioning, role limitation, mental health and energy / fatigue and pain compared to controls. In the US allergy disorders result more than 4 million workdays lost per/year in the United States.

However, it is not just the disorder the can have an effect on productivity; the drugs used to treat the illness may also affect productivity levels. Medications are also often a hidden cost in presenteeism, accidents and lost work productivity. The use of sedating antihistamines for allergies had a 50% higher risk of on-the-job injury than control subjects. Another study found that driving impairments exhibited due to the use of a sedating antihistamine were worse than that connected with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.1%. In a study of nearly 6000 employees those who used sedating antihistamines experienced on average an 8% reduction in daily work out-put compared to those who used non-sedating antihistamines. Many other medications including pain killers and cholesterol lowering drugs can result in lost productivity. The fatigue and muscle soreness created by cholesterol lowering drugs may impact productivity especially those with more physical work. While their effect on memory may be even more problematic. A colleague of mine recalled the effect these drugs were having on the memory of police officers who were called to be witnesses. Awkward eh.

 The message is that it is in everyone’s best interests to promote health, both the individual and the company they work for. The good thing in all of this is that companies are increasingly adopting workplace wellness programs which if adopted well can make a big difference to the health of their employees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday
Jul012016

Not enough dietary fiber linked to increasing allergies.

Food allergy is now a major public health issue, due to its increasing incidence over the past 20 years, particularly in western countries. Recently, alterations in gut microflora composition have been suggested as an explanation for developing food alergies. This is evident in germ-free mice, which tend to develop more-severe allergies, and given that specific probiotic treatment can alleviate food allergy symptoms.

Diet, especially consumption of dietary fiber, appears to be a critical determinant for gut bacterial ecology, diversity, and function. Dietary-fiber-derived metabolites have been implicated in gut health. Dietary fiber is fermented in the colon by anaerobic bacteria into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), mainly acetate, butyrate, and propionate to create a healthy gut. Western diets, typically high in fat but also low in fiber, may therefore be associated with changes in gut bacterial ecology and this may compromise oral tolerance and allow for the development of food allergies.
We all should be eating more wholesome, whole foods with lots and lots of fiber and avoid poisons like preservatives and antibacterials which kill the gut bacteria.

Friday
Jul012016

Medical lies that are killing you.

The medical experts cry foul at every opportunity possible regarding anything other than their own drugs and medicine. But turn a blind eye to their own limitations. By looking out and blaming everyone else they miss the elephant in the room. The serious and deadly side effects of the medicines and practices they prescribe. They even miss the fact that their so called miracle drugs don’t even work.
The vast majority of scientific claims are wrong. Medical journals are openly admitting that at least a third of articles are false or fraud. While the ones that are factual exaggerate and embellish (using strange statistics) to give a glowing report. We could in fact get rid of 90% of the medicines we use today and we would only be healthier.

Here are a few short facts
• Cholesterol has never killed any person
• There is no such thing as bad cholesterol
• Cholesterol in the arteries is a band-aid to prevent you from dying from damaged arteries
• Cholesterol is one of the most important molecules in the body from the manufacture of vitamin D, hormones, bile to building memories and the structure of every cell.
• Higher LDL cholesterol (the so-called bad one) is protective as you age
• Cholesterol is an important part of your immune system
• The is no evidence that lowering cholesterol reduces the risk of heart attack or mortality any more than half of one percent (0.5%).
• Drugs to lower cholesterol have serious and deadly side effects in up to 25% of patients taking them.
• The real risk of heart attack and stroke comes from inflammation and our mismatch of between evolution and our lives and can be reversed by changes in your diet and lifestyle.
• Finally if your GP prescribes these cholesterol lowering drugs to you they are in the pockets of the pharmaceutical company.

It is time to take control of you own health and make a real difference.

My research covers thousands of scientific journals on the topic. But even more telling a professional colleague of mine died last week at the age of 65. He was on 12 drugs a day.

How much more evidence do you want?

Perhaps it is a time for a public debate on the issue because it cost the economy billions and billions of dollars every year.